Our weekly guide to healthcare's most influential people No 62

Published: 21/03/2002, Volume II2, No. 5797 Page 18 19

Name: Peter Davies Job: Outgoing editor, HSJ

Style: A real journalists'editor who never uses three long words when a single raised eyebrow will do.Spookily neat office features a huge Nye Bevan biog.Has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things NHS and - health managers beware - an instant recall of names, events and scandals, who did what and which volume and page of HSJ it appeared on.Well respected by health world and hackdom alike.His 18 years at HSJ have seen the once raven-haired journo turn white, but unlike the now-shorn Peter Homa, our man has stayed with Dobbo-style facial hair since the age of 18, returning defiantly unshaven even from Enver Hoxha's Albania.Can be seen at 'Brother Savage' jazz events, hosted by healthcare finance consultant Tom Jones.

Background: Geordie boy who went to school with Sting.Had an early Milburn encounter, learning football with Newcastle Utd legend 'Wor' Jackie.

Despite a childhood yen for the priesthood, did an English degree, acquiring a taste for Anglo-Saxon literature, Harold Pinter and dressing up as Margaret Thatcher at parties.Drove an Age Concern minibus and worked with elderly people for Croydon social services, with a stint as a researcher on Wordsworth's letters before a postgrad journalism course at City Uni.Wrote for Public Finance before starting at HSJ in 1984 as a reporter and feature writer.Rose to deputy editor in 1987, getting the big chair in 1994.

Future prospects: Wielding his pen and health policy expertise more widely.The smart money says keep a space on the bookshelf for a history of health services from the Anglo-Saxon era on.

That is enough speculation - Ed.